Gianniny wins International Junior Masters in Buffalo

July 05, 2017

EAST AURORA, N.Y. -- Rochester’s Danny Gianniny chipped in on the final two holes of match play to win the 2017 International Junior Masters (IJM) in dramatic fashion at East Aurora Country Club last week.

“I was down today but I was never out,” Gianniny proudly stated to local reporters after the impressive come-from-behind win.

The victory earns him an exemption into one of amateur golf’s elite events, the Porter Cup, taking place later this month at Niagara Falls Country Club July 19-22.

His talented Australian opponent, Billy Watson, quickly went to work and was 3-up through the first four holes. Gianinny closed the gap on the sixth and seventh holes, but tailed Watson until the par-3 fifteenth, where things quickly turned around.

During the match’s final three holes, Gianniny went birdie, chip-in eagle, chip-in birdie to earn the prestigious title in front of a hometown crowd. The two young players were all square on the sixteenth tee, but a 30-foot chip for eagle turned the match upside down. The next hole, Watson’s third shot lipped out and came to rest only a few inches away from the flagstick. Gianniny only needed an up-and-down for par to head to the home hole 1-up. Instead, he lobbed up his shot which trickled and fell into the cup and just like that, it was all over.

The Pittsford native recently graduated high school from Pittsford Sutherland in Rochester and is headed to St. Bonaventure this fall to play on the men’s golf team. He recently won the section v boys golf title as a senior and finished third in the 2017 New York State Public High Schools boys golf championship. He plans to compete in both the 2017 NYS Junior Amateur and the 2017 NYS Men’s Amateur championships.

About the IJM

The IJM is a junior golf tournament for boys 14 to 18 years old. It is the oldest international junior invitational in North America beginning in 1953. The IJM is unique in that it combines both medal play and match play into its tournament format. Top caliber players from around the globe have competed in the tournament, making it a world-wide showcase of junior golf talent, creating a field at the highest level of competition.